While Chiappini-Young insists that Green Cross will not become a fashion brand, she acknowledges that there has been a shift in who the customer is. “Our customer has become more sophisticated, more stylish and more discerning. She or he is looking for shoes with substance; shoes which are contemporary and special; shoes which are differentiated from other offerings in the market place. Green Cross has always been synonymous with superior quality, comfort shoes. We are now upping the style ante through our European supply chain.
Founded in 1975 by German husband and wife team Karl and Hildegard Zeppel, Green Cross started out as a pure “wellness” comfort shoe brand. The company employs over 700 people and has 42 retail stores nationally. More than half of its shoes are produced in its factory in Epping in Cape Town; the rest are manufactured in collaboration with superior facilities in Portugal, Italy and China. Despite the sophisticated machinery needed to manufacture shoes, each pair still requires 50 pairs of human hands.
Chiappini-Young is very adamant that although she is not changing the brand, Green Cross will offer the best looking comfort shoes. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she’s working hard with her team to build a successful, sustainable, and, ultimately, comfortable business